The Archaeological Museum was opened in 1958, located in the converted monastery of Saint Mary in order to house the impressive collection of finds that were being excavated at Apollonia, even though only 5% of the site has been excavated to date. The museum was a major public attraction during the period of the communist regime. It included the archaeological material gathered both before and after the Second World War. Further excavations during 1958-1960 led to the reorganisation of the exhibition in 1961. The further reorganization of the museum was undertaken in 1985 after the systematic archaeological researches done over the last decades. This created possibilities for the complete representation of the culture and history of the city since its beginning up to its decline.


The organisation and exhibition of the archaeological material was arranged both chronologically and thematically, showing the different aspects of the city: its beginning,relations with Illyrians, political organizations, trade, wine and drinking, children and woman, culture and education, art, wars, cemeteries etc. This has added value to the museum and the visitor gets full information on the thousand year history of the city.


At the beginning of the 1990s the museum was closed for security reasons. As a result of two major thefts and the disturbed political situation the most important moveable objects were removed for safety to the stores in the Institute of Archaeology in Tirana.


Nowadays the Apollonia museum, with collections from nature to art, from crafts to ethnology,from archaic to religious, from material to spiritual, remains an attractive museum. On 07/12/2011 the Archaeological Museum has reopened the doors after 20 years. 688 important objects, and the large number of ancient coins make it among the richest museums in the country.


The museum consists of three elements:

1. The six rooms of the archaeological collection, containing finds from prehistory to the late Roman period.

2. The statuary portico, housing large marble sculptures

3. The refectory, containing in situ frescoes, archaeological remains and a mosaic.

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